AN IRISHMAN who laughed as he burned down the home he lost in a divorce to his wife has been jailed in the United States.
Timothy P. Brosnan, originally from Mountcollins in Co. Limerick, admitted to torching the $700,000 house he had built himself in Swampscott, near Boston, after his 27-year marriage came to an end in 2016.
The 59-year-old destroyed the house just one day before he was due to formally hand it over to his estranged wife Mary.
US cops described Mr Brosnan as "gleeful" when they found him leaning against his car watching the house burn down on Linden Avenue in Swampscott.
The father-of-two branded one officer a "buzzkill" for blocking his view of the blaze, reports the Boston Herald.
Additionally, a firefighter had to to stop the Irishman from lighting a cigarette and reported that he stank of petrol fumes.
No one was inside the house at the time of the fire and Mr Brosnan informed police that he had brought the couple's cat to safety before torching the property.
'Laughing and making jokes'
The construction worker's trial heard how he was in the middle of a divorce battle at the time of the crime.
His wife Mary wrote to the court during proceedings asking that he be kept in custody, explaining: "It is the only way our two daughters and I can feel safe going forward".
In his own court filings, Mr Brosnan accused his wife of infidelity and said when he returned from a three-month trip back home to Ireland, he discovered she and the children had moved out of their house.
Brosnan pleaded guilty to setting the blaze after a firefighter had to be treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion in hospital.
Swampscott Police Department's report stated: "In the process of arresting Timothy he was laughing and making jokes.
"He was staring into the house that was on fire and said, ‘isn’t this the most beautiful thing ever’. He would laugh out loud and say, ‘yes I did that’."
Superior Court Judge James Lang told Brosnan he could have destroyed other homes and injured innocent neighbours in the process of his attack.
He sentenced the Irishman to four to five years in prison.